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Arctic Tern Defending its Territory - Sterna paradisaea - Ny Alesund, Svalbard

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There's a road through the town of Ny Alesund that has nesting terms on each side of it that take it in turns to attack you and keep you away from their territory. Being cool I wasn't scared even if I look it in this less than flattering picture while the tern manages to look as elegant as they always do.

Had I seen the film of a polar bear being attacked by terns and bloodied in the process that I saw after this happened I would have been significantly less cool about it.

I have now however been attacked by Arctic terns at both ends of the planet though writing this is probably the only chance I'll ever have to brag about it.


Picture copyright Paul Ward

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